The Boise State Broncos needed three trick plays in the final seconds of regulation and overtime Monday night to beat the Oklahoma Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl and cap an improbable undefeated season. One of the stars of the games, Boise State junior safety Marty Tadman, who ran an interception back for a touchdown in the 43-42 victory, is living his own Cinderella story, although with a twist that is sure to make some Shmooze readers uncomfortable.
Tadman emerged as a dominant force on the gridiron as a high-school standout at Mission Viejo High School in Southern California, but his life off the field took a wrong turn as he began using and dealing drugs. Then, as the Broncos safety reportedly tells it, while walking alone on a beach one night, he found God. Soon, Tadman, who was raised Jewish, embraced Christianity.
Since beginning college in Idaho, according to a report in the Orange County Record, Tadman became a part-time Southern Baptist pastor, spreading his religious message throughout the state and Utah. He sports several tattoos with religious themes, including the words of the Shema prayer — the Lord Our God, the Lord Is One. During one recent television interview with CBS about his newfound faith, he wore a T-shirt with the Hebrew word savalta — “you suffered” — surrounded by a crown of thorns.
In the same segment, last November, Mark and Joey Tadman expressed support for their son’s religious path.
“That winter break when he came home and announced that he was a Christian, he was wondering how we were going to react,” Mark Tadman said of his son. “There was no hesitation on either of our part. We were happy that he had found something that we were comfortable with. He wasn’t sure how we were going to take raising this little Jewish boy to become a Christian. Like I say, my hat’s off to him for doing the research and finding what was right for him.”
Well, we still have Sid Luckman.